Principal Proposed Uses
Androstenedione is a hormone produced naturally in the body by the adrenal glands, the ovaries (in women), and the testicles (in men). The body first manufactures DHEA , then turns DHEA into androstenedione, and finally transforms androstenedione into testosterone, the principal male sex hormone. Androstenedione is also transformed into estrogen. Androstenedione is widely used by athletes who believe that it can build muscle and increase strength. However, there is no evidence that it works. Furthermore, androstenedione supplements may cause positive urine tests for illegal steroid use, due to the common presence of a contaminant (19-norandrostenedione). 1Androstenedione is said to enhance athletic performance and strength by increasing testosterone production, thereby building muscle. However, in double-blind studies, when androstenedione was given to men, it did not alter total testosterone levels, nor improve sports performance, strength, or lean body mass. 2–7 It did, however, increase estrogen levels, an effect that would not be considered favorable. Curiously, some evidence suggests that androstenedione does raise testosterone levels levels in women; again, this is not likely to produce favorable results, and it could cause harm (see Safety Issues ). 8,11 The most consistent effect of androstenedione is to increase estrogen levels.